Updated: November 10, 2010
Australia could become world leader in marine conservation says new report
For the first time, a scientifically-based blueprint for managing Australia’s oceans has been developed to safeguard marine life and protect economic and social interests.
More than two years of research and analysis of 3300 sources of data evidence has established that half of the unprotected south west of Australia should become a network of marine sanctuaries.
Currently, only one per cent of the coastline from Geraldton to Kangaroo Island off South Australia is protected.
The Ecology Centre blueprint – called 'Systematic Conservation Planning' - concludes that 50 per cent of the oceans in the south west of the country will need to be protected in a network of marine sanctuaries, yet also ensures a balance to allow economic and social activities to continue.
Critically, the blueprint for protection of fish stocks and marine life in sanctuaries does not equate to a 50 per cent loss to socio-economic activities. This report will plug a hole in our knowledge of our oceans and help government planners make much more accurate decisions when designing marine protected areas.
Researchers at the Ecology Centre were able to identify the location of a network of marine sanctuaries in the south west that met the Scientific Principles endorsed by the 50 leading scientists - but also had the smallest impact on existing uses such as recreational fishing.
The implementation of this blueprint would make Australia the world leader in marine conservation and marine resource management.
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Australia's largest conservation decision in the balance - tell Minister Burke to protect marine life!
In a matter of weeks the Australian Government will make one of the largest conservation decisions in history when it considers the creation of a network of marine sanctuaries in Australia's South West. Be part of this historic decision - tell Minister Burke to protect marine life! Sign here >>
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